October 16, 2024|12:30 pm – 1:30 pm (ET)

Attracting, Engaging, Training, and Keeping Next Generation Employees

  • Location: FABTECH Theater

The growing need for manufacturing employees warrants different outlooks and methods for attracting new generations into the industry. The wants, needs, and goals of outgoing employees are different from those entering the job market today. This dynamic panel of industry leaders and educators will address some of these changes and explore new ideologies, strategies, and alternatives to help meet the current employment challenges.

Attendees will find out what approaches other companies are taking – what is working, as well as what isn’t working and hear perspectives from those currently educating the next workforce. Prepare to leave with new ideas and outlooks you can take back and implement in your search for the new workforce.


Max Ceron

Owner SMC Fabrication Regina and Executive Director CWB Association

Michael Cole

Regional Campus President

StrataTech Education Group

Angela Phillips


Phillips Tube Group, Inc

Lori Tapani


Wyoming Machine, Inc.

Event Speakers

Max Ceron

Owner SMC Fabrication Regina and Executive Director CWB Association

Max has been in the steel trades since the age of 17. Working as both a welder and fabricator, Max has extensive experience in all levels of the trades – from welders’ helper, welder/fitter, educator, manager, Business owner, and now National Director at the Canadian Welding Bureau. Max hopes to support, educate, and provide opportunities to all persons in the steel trades across Canada and beyond.

Michael Cole

Regional Campus President, StrataTech Education Group

Experienced Education Executive with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry. Skilled in Career Development, Student Recruiting, Coaching, Admissions Counseling, and Customer Retention.

Angela Phillips

CEO, Phillips Tube Group, Inc

Angela Phillips is the CEO of Phillips Tube Group, Inc. She brings over 30 years of operational and strategic business experience to the precision welded steel tube industry. The daughter of company founder Ralph H. Phillips, she literally “grew up” in the business, gaining a broad-based understanding of manufacturing and has been successfully leading the organization following her father’s passing in 2009.

Ms. Phillips continues this powerful legacy today, growing Phillips Tube Group to even greater heights through acquisitions and other major investments. She has been the recipient of numerous professional awards including:

2023 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year – East Central Winner

2023 Bizwomen Power 50 List: Dayton Business Journal

2023 Induction into the North Central Ohio Industrial Manufacturing Hall of Fame

2023 Economic Impact Award: Richland Area Chamber of Commerce

2023 Visionary Award: The Shelby Foundation

2023 & 2022 Ohio’s Top 500 Leaders & Business Executives – Manufacturing: Ohio Business Magazine

2022 Small Business Award: Wayne County Chamber of Commerce

2021 New Investment Award: Economic Development Corporation of Wayne County

Lori Tapani

Co-President, Wyoming Machine, Inc.

Lori Tapani and her sister, Traci, have been Co-presidents of Minneapolis-based Wyoming Machine since 1997 after taking over the helm from their father, Thomas Tapani, who founded the company in 1974 with two partners. Aside from being co-president of Wyoming Machine, Lori is a CPA, a mother, an artist, and a Harley Davidson enthusiast.

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